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The 3 Ways Smart Social Media Accelerates Startup Success Finding a niche on social media is the quickest way for knowledgable people who are unknown to become recognized as experts.

By Asha Saxena Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When it comes to running a startup, spreading your brand awareness should be your primary goal. Depending on your startup's industry, a multi pronged social media attack may appeal to and build loyalty in your customer base.

However, a more nuanced plan is much more effective than simply blanketing the market. Sites such as Facebook have more than a billion users, but a high-tech startup may be wise to work with a network such as Spiceworks, which caters more to tech consumers. Startups with well-conceived social media strategies aren't as hampered by sparse funding and other issues that plague young companies. Remaining educated and engaged in social media is a great way to become a known quantity and make your startup viable.

Here are three reasons a high social business IQ can help your startup in the long run:

1. It builds credibility.

A startup has to hustle to create buzz, or even be taken seriously by established companies. Social media is where a young company can distinguish itself as an expert in its field, rather than just a new competitor. Startups make waves by creating original, industry-relevant content and dispersing it through their chosen social media platforms. Pertinent content can also be something as simple as commenting on industry trends or corresponding with competitors.

But a strong social business approach isn't just for startups looking to get their names out there. Companies such as Hertz, LifeLock, Groupon and Red Bull all launched successful campaigns that helped them construct credibility with wider audiences.

Building a consistent social media presence for your company is a good start to establishing it -- and you -- as a thought leader.

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2. It builds relationships.

A strong social media base can exponentially grow a startup's limited initial network. Social media's loose environment helps young leaders connect with industry veterans in an easier, more informal manner.

Receiving a tweet or retweet from an industry leader isn't equivalent to closing a business deal, but it does make you visible to a person of importance in your field.

Additionally, social media can build internal relationships with employees and external connections with investors and prospective talent. A presence on social media is as valuable a tool as any startup has to build bridges inside and outside of the company.

Related: 7 Ways to Build Credibility, Trust and Character That Will Grow Your Business

3. It builds knowledge.

In the past, it was difficult to gain timely product feedback. But with the emergence of social media, a business leader can track and assess a product's movement and engagement while also forecasting possible trends.

Social media can track lead growth, brand perception, brand search volume and the number of inbound links established by your company. Klout -- a service that uses social media metrics to tally engagement -- is an insightful tool for measuring your social media reach.

Researching inbound links reveals how site and product traffic fluctuate due to social media campaigns, contests and other variables. Understanding how particular social media trends affect your company will, ultimately, improve your understanding of which specific strategies yield the best ROI.

An active social media presence benefits startups in three major ways: it builds credibility, relationships and knowledge -- all of which play crucial roles in making a startup profitable. Social media is an extension of your company's brand. Understanding it and using it well will only make your brand stronger.

Related: 5 Steps Toward Building Influence as a Great Thought Leader

Asha Saxena

President and CEO of Future Technologies

Asha Saxena is the president and CEO of Plainfield, N.J.-based Future Technologies. The company offers data-management and analytics solutions through business strategy and technology development and markets a health-care analytics dashboard called FTI Catalyst. 

 

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